Nikon M-223 Review – Good Value for the Money

Nikon continues to exhibit their commitment to providing customers everything they need and more. They developed the Nikon M-223 line both in response to the growing popularity of AR rifles and to show off the versatility and enjoyment in using it. Shoot for fun, hunting, or competition. These riflescopes are designed to deliver heightened accuracy at incredible speeds.

With these scopes, you can fire from zero to 200 yards at an accelerated speed. Also, see it all in action with a super wide view even in low lighting environments. The Nikon M-223 line features many features the company is known for. You can experience multicoated optics and waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof performance all bundled in a lifetime warranty. Read on below to learn more about the advantages and benefits of using the Nikon M-223.

Nikon M-223 blank reticle

Nikon M-223 Pros and Cons


1. Multicoated Lens

The optics allow for clear sight shooting regardless of the time of day. You can see clearly from dusk until dawn. Get sharp, flat, and bright sight picture all with a maximum light transmission of up to 95%.

2. Eye Box Technology

Each M-223 model comes with this design feature. Enjoy sight at high-resolution and superior brightness with the ocular lens. Moreover, it has 4x zoom range and 4 in. of constant, uncritical eye relief.

3. First-rate Reticle Performance

BDC 600 and the Nikoplex reticles are calibrated to match the .223 Rem/5.56 NATO round trajectory with 55-grain. The BDC 600 gives explicit target acquisition from 100 to 600 yards and aids in giving open circle aiming points. On the other end, the Nikoplex is ideal for those with an AR15 that has a heavy barrel. It has a high magnification range zoom and removable ARD objective lens glare eliminator.

4. Riflescopes Made to Last

The body tubes in the Nikon M-223 line withstand the natural elements such as water and fog. This design keeps the scopes safe from harmful, external factors. Scopes are Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed so the optics stay in the best condition. Some scopes in the M-223 family feature a 30mm main body tube that adds additional durability and wider adjustment range.

5. Increased Dial Speed

The Rapid Action Turret system gives remarkable speed when dialing shots. Easily and quickly go from 0 to 600 yards while still maintaining the hold of your recticle’s crosshair on the target. It’s a great, easy option for long-range shooting.

6. Holds Zero

Zeroing the scope is very easy, much of that due to the turret system. It will hold while you run, jump, or even dive. No matter what you throw at it, the zero on the scope will remain steady and unchanged.

7. Customized Shooting Experience

Nikon M-223s can now fully integrate with Spot On Custom Turrets. With this compatibility, you can further personalize your shooting to get the best experience possible. Long-range shots gain precision while you are able to compensate for bullet drop.

man using a nikon m-223 scope


An issue can lie in image clarity and eye relief between low and high magnification. Lower magnification keeps a clear picture, but eye relief at higher magnifications can become inconsistent. The edges of the view can sometimes have an issue with becoming a bit fuzzy. In addition with sight, those with vision problems can find the BDC 600 reticle a bit difficult to read. A further complaint about the BDC 600 is that the bubbles can appear too small.

In regards to the turrets, the hash marks may not exactly align with the adjustment line. The actual line may sit slightly off. More with the turrets, they cannot be locked in. After your zero has been set, an accidental bump may be able to reset it.

Another area of concern lies in the size and weight of the various Nikon M-223s. They can range from around 13 oz. like the 1-4×20 BDC 600 to 19 oz. such as the 4-16×42 model. Some may find the models leaning toward the heavier end, and thus more difficult to maneuver fast and shoot rapid fire at targets from varying distances.

On the size end, the scope can be too long for an AR without a mount. It can cause the rear end to hang over the charging handle. That, in turn, brings some difficulty in accessing the handle to pull it back.

Other issues can crop up concerning the quality of certain pieces. There have been reports of the windage knob coming loose. Sometimes, when attempting to tighten the knob, the entire thing can break off. Weak or faulty screws are usually the culprit in this case.

m223 scope

Who Is This Product Best For?

The Nikon M-223 best suits ARs, especially AR-15s. As for their use, the line is an optimal choice for those interested in competitive shooting, hunting, or just firing off at the range. They also offer good value for the price, making the M-223 great for those on a budget.

To Sum It All Up

Nikon M-223 has an exceptional line of scopes built to last and hold up in numerous of conditions whether freezing rain or sunshine. The built-in technology gives you a crisp and bright picture regardless of the surrounding light. It is simple to adjust and it typically holds your zero well even if you are a little rough with it. The dial speed is also something to admire. It’s a functional scope for long-range shooting.

There are a few drawbacks such as the weight and the low-quality screws that can cause the windage knob to fall off. However, the many advantages in the design of the M-223 can easily outweigh the minimal faults. The lifetime warranty offered by Nikon doesn’t hurt either, so anything such as loose knobs can be replaced over time.